Once upon a childhood

By Josh Albrecht

Asst. Campus Editor

All too often I find myself sitting in front of the TV asking, “Where have the years gone?”

It is during these moments in time, moments of great reflection and anticipation, that I enjoy those things that bring me comfort. And usually, those things that bring comfort are items from my past.

But, I didn’t always need things to comfort me. There used to be care-free days filled with nothingness, which basically consisted of me standing in front of the refrigerator and looking at the food for five minutes, that somehow seemed to last forever.

Then, I would close the door and go back to watching TV only to go back to the refrigerator during the next commercial break to see if, by chance, some good food had made its way in there while I wasn’t looking.

Now, when I stare into refrigerators, I can’t help but think that I have been wasting my life, and that I only have three-quarters of my life left. Plus, my refrigerator light bulb has burnt out, which is terrible irony.

Yes, I am going through a quarter-life crisis, and the only way that I am getting through is by keeping in touch with my youth.

And by staying in touch with my inner child, I don’t realize that I am getting older.

There are many things which can keep us comforted during our passing years.

Whether it is enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or the fabled macaroni and cheese with hot dogs cut up into it, food can keep us feeling sticky, like a five year old.

There also is the time-honored habit of watching cartoons. However, the true masterpieces of the past like G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are no longer seen on TV, so this is really not an option.

The best option for comfort, though, is in clothing.

Now, I’m not a fancy big shot fashion designer, nor do I consider myself a fashionable person, but when it comes to clothes I know how to be comfortable.

Honestly, I have no idea why fashion is such a big deal, but I am happy to know that according to A&E, the best supermodel of all time is DeKalb’s own, Cindy Crawford.

Thus, through deductive reasoning and a little fudging of numbers, I, too, am a fashionable person because I live in DeKalb.

My most decisive fashion voyage was when I purchased a New York Yankees hat at the youthful age of 8. The hat has stayed with me ever since.

That hat and I have experienced a lot together. I even lost the hat, twice. Once while I swam in a murky Minnesota lake and once in a haunted house. Both times, it made its way back into my hand.

I like to think that in both of those cases, miracles happened.

The hat is old and weather-beaten, but it keeps going. Sure, I had to use duct tape to keep it together, and somehow I got a giant ink stain on the front of it, but it still does its job.

But the ultimate piece of clothing is my gray hooded sweatshirt.

This baby has traveled across this big bad nation with me, going to Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Wash., and it also handles the simple trips to class.

I received it as a Christmas gift seven years ago, and it has gotten more rotation than a Radiohead album.

Every day that I wear this sweatshirt, and I do mean every day, I am in a state of Nirvana. The world just sort of seems to make sense, and I realize that everything has its purpose.

Is it fair to my other shirts that they do not get worn as much as my gray sweetheart? Probably not, but their time will come.

When I was in fifth grade, I hated word problems in math, but now, I love them. There is a weird sense of accomplishment that one gets from a word problem. Here is a sample word problem to brighten your day:

If Billy has 22 chickens, and he gives Sally 3 chickens and Fred 2 chickens, but buys 5 chickens from the “I’ve got a lot of chickens” guy, how many chickens does Billy have?

If you answered 22, then you’re a genius.

If you answered anything other than 22, then try this bonus question to redeem yourself.

How many times does the word “chickens” appear in the above word problem?

If you answered six, then you’re a genius.

Now, there has to be some comfort in that, but if you feel uncomfortable now, go buy a gray hooded sweatshirt, or some chickens.

Yes, that will do.